Most memorable Oscar moments, from Ellen’s selfie to Moonlight winning best picture, ahead of the 2024 Academy Awards

As movie fans prepare for the Oscars, we’re looking back at some of the most memorable moments in the Academy Awards’ nearly 100-year history.

RELATED: See full list of the 2024 Oscar nominations

While the show is typically known for high-honor awards and exciting musical performances, some of the most talked about moments each year are the unexpected surprises that always seem to make their way into the program.

RELATED: Potential historic moments to watch for at 2024 Oscars

From viral celebrity moments to heartwarming, emotional speeches, these are some of the most iconic Oscars moments of all time.

1969: “It’s a tie!”

In this April 14, 1969 file photo, actress and singer Barbra Streisand poses with her Oscar for her role in “Funny Girl” at the 41st Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/George Birch, File

An Oscar vote rarely results in a tie. In fact, it’s only happened six times in the award show’s nearly 100-year run.

The audience gasped when it was announced that two of the biggest stars of the time, Katharine Hepburn in “A Lion in Winter” and Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl,” tied for the award of best actress in 1968.

Streisand took the stage with Hepburn’s director, Anthony Harvey, since the actress was not present at the ceremony.

The last time there was a tie? In 2013, “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” tied for best sound editing, a category that no longer exists.

1974: Man streaks across stage

In this Feb. 4, 1974 file photo, a streaker later identified as Robert Opel appears on stage surprising David Niven, right, at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

In this Feb. 4, 1974 file photo, a streaker later identified as Robert Opel appears on stage surprising David Niven, right, at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

AP Photo, File

Viewers were shocked during the 46th Academy Awards when a naked man, later identified as Robert Opel, ran across the stage while flashing a peace sign.

Despite the big surprise, actor David Niven was nearly unfazed as he introduced Elizabeth Taylor.

He was quick to make a jab at the streaker, asking the audience, “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

1976: Muhammad Ali vs. Rocky

In this March 28, 1977 file photo, Muhammad Ali, left, makes a surprise appearance at the Academy Awards, playfully sparring with Sylvester Stallone, right, in Los Angeles.

In this March 28, 1977 file photo, Muhammad Ali, left, makes a surprise appearance at the Academy Awards, playfully sparring with Sylvester Stallone, right, in Los Angeles.

AP Photo, File

When “Rocky” star Sylvester Stallone took the stage to present the best supporting actress Oscar to Beatrice Straight for “Network” in 1976, he was surprised by none other than real-life boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

“Can’t you see I’m working?!” Stallone said. “I’m the real Apollo Creed!” Ali replied.

The two then fake-tussled before returning to their presenting duties. But not before Stallone gushed over Ali.

“I just have to say one thing. I may not win anything here tonight in the form of an Oscar, but I really feel it’s an amazing privilege to be standing next to a 100% certified legend and it’s something I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life. Unbelievable,” Stallone said.

1992: Billy Crystal’s Hannibal Lecter entrance

Billy Crystal, wearing the mask from the film The Silence of the Lambs, greets actor Anthony Hopkins during the Academy Awards ceremonies in Los Angeles, March 30, 1992.

Billy Crystal, wearing the mask from the film “The Silence of the Lambs,” greets actor Anthony Hopkins during the Academy Awards ceremonies in Los Angeles, March 30, 1992.

AP Photo/Craig Fujii

When he first took the stage to host the 64th Academy Awards in 1992, the audience laughed as Billy Crystal was strapped to a gurney in a Hannibal Lecter mask from “Silence of the Lambs.”

He then stared at the audience and placed his hand on his face without saying a word.

Fittingly, Crystal entered the audience and pulled Anthony Hopkins from his seat to ask, “I’m having some of the academy over for dinner. Care to join me?”

This is just one of many iconic moments from Crystal over the years. He has hosted the Oscars nine times.

2001: Bjork’s swan dress

Singer Bjork, wearing a Marjan Pejoski swan gown, arrives at the 73rd annual Academy Awards Sunday, March 25, 2001, in Los Angeles.

Singer Bjork, wearing a Marjan Pejoski swan gown, arrives at the 73rd annual Academy Awards Sunday, March 25, 2001, in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson

While red carpet looks always conjure up media buzz and opinions from all over, few dresses have sparked conversations like singer Bjork’s 2001 swan dress.

The dress resembled a swan, with its long neck draped around Bjork’s own neck and its beak resting on her chest.

The short, tulle dress was paired with a mesh bodysuit covered in crystals. As for accessories, the singer dropped a trail of eggs as she walked down the red carpet.

Bjork was in attendance that night because she was nominated for best original song for “I’ve Seen it All” from “Dancing In The Dark.”

While the swan dress became a punchline in pop culture, the dress has since become one of the most fondly-remembered Oscars looks of all time.

In 2015, the dress was exhibited as part of MoMA’s Bjork show. And in 2019, it was featured in The Met’s Camp: Notes On Fashion.

2002: Halle Berry’s emotional best actress win

In this March 24, 2002 file photo, actress Halle Berry is seen after accepting the Oscar for best actress at the 74th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

In this March 24, 2002 file photo, actress Halle Berry is seen after accepting the Oscar for best actress at the 74th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian/Doug Mills/file

In what would become one of the most memorable Oscars acceptance speeches of all time, Halle Berry was the first Black woman to win the award in 2002 for her performance in “Monster’s Ball.”

When her name was announced, the camera cut to Berry in the audience, who looked extremely shocked.

Through tears, Berry delivered a speech that brought tears to the eyes of viewers everywhere.

“This moment is so much bigger than me,” she said. “This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

2007: The Comedian Song

Jack Black, left, John C. Reilly, center, and Will Ferrell perform during the 79th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, in Los Angeles.

Jack Black, left, John C. Reilly, center, and Will Ferrell perform during the 79th Academy Awards Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, in Los Angeles.

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Critics have long felt that Oscar voters tend to snub comedians in favor of more dramatic roles and films.

In 2007, comedians Will Ferrell and Jack Black took to the stage to perform a song about feeling left out.

“A comedian at the Oscars, the saddest man of all. Your movies may make millions, but your name, they’ll never call,” Ferrell sang.

Black and Ferrell got big laughs when they threatened to fight some nominees, like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling, but stopped short of lobbing similar threats to Mark Wahlberg.

However, the song took a turn when fellow comedian John C. Reilly rose from the crowd to instill hope in Black and Ferrell, encouraging them to take on more serious roles. Reilly was, in fact, nominated for best supporting actor for his role in 2003’s “Chicago.”

2013: Jennifer Lawrence trips

This Feb. 24, 2013 photo shows Jennifer Lawrence stumbling as she walks to the stage to accept the award for best actress during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

This Feb. 24, 2013 photo shows Jennifer Lawrence stumbling as she walks to the stage to accept the award for best actress during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

While on her way to the stage to accept her best actress Oscar for her performance in “Silver Linings Playbook,” Jennifer Lawrence tripped and fell on the stage steps in 2013.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell and that’s really embarrassing, but thank you,” Lawrence joked during her standing ovation.

The moment became an instant meme, and the photo of her lying on the steps was shared countless times online.

Instead of truly tripping her up, the moment solidified J-Law’s image as a relatable, down-to-earth actress.

Many online commenters agreed that the very human moment just made her all the more likable.

2014: The selfie that broke the internet

Ellen DeGeneres takes a photo with, from left, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jared Leto during the Oscars on March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Ellen DeGeneres takes a photo with, from left, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jared Leto during the Oscars on March 2, 2014, in LA.

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP

When Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 86th Academy Awards in 2014, it wasn’t her opening monologue that made headlines, but instead, a stunt she pulled in the audience.

DeGeneres, Samsung phone in hand (they were a sponsor that year), entered the crowd and began posing for selfies with the stars. First, it was a normal photo with Liza Minnelli.

But when DeGeneres approached actress Meryl Streep, she said she hoped to break Twitter’s record for most retweets of a photo.

Quickly, many stars joined in, and the photo ended up including DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Peter Nyong’o, and Jared Leto (barely).

On Twitter after the show, DeGeneres called the shot the “best photo ever” and quipped that more celebrities could have fit into the frame “if only Bradley’s arm was longer.”

For some time the tweet was, in fact, the most retweeted ever, though it has since been dethroned.

2014: Adele Dazeem?

From left to right: John Travolta and Idina Menzel are seen at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in this March 2, 2014 file photo.

From left to right: John Travolta and Idina Menzel are seen at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in this March 2, 2014 file photo.

Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File

While many celebrities have flubbed a name or two while presenting at the Oscars, John Travolta’s introduction of Idina Menzel sparked a big reaction at the 2014 ceremony.

While introducing the “Frozen” star, who was performing “Let it Go,” Travolta stumbled over her name and ended up calling her well, something else.

“Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only, Adele Dazeem,” he said in the infamous clip, which quickly went viral online.

Funny enough, Menzel got her revenge on Travolta at the 2015 Oscars.

“Please welcome to the stage, my very dear friend, Glom Gazingo,” Menzel said. “I deserved that,” Travolta said with a laugh after he joined her on stage.

2015: Lady Gaga channels Julie Andrews in the 50th anniversary tribute to “The Sound of Music”

Lady Gaga channels Julie Andrews in the 50th anniversary tribute of ‘The Sound of Music’

The hills were alive at the 87th Oscars in 2015 as Lady Gaga belted out a show-stopping tribute to “The Sound of Music” in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. Gaga’s medley included “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

After a standing ovation, Gaga welcomed Julie Andrews to the stage to present the next award for best original score. Andrews said Gaga’s tribute “really warmed my heart” and then reflected on her experiences making “that joyous film.”

“How lucky can a girl get?” Andrews beamed.

2016: Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar

It might be hard to believe that Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t win an Oscar for his touching portrayal of Jack Dawson in “Titanic.” But, alas, it wasn’t his time yet. In fact, his time wouldn’t come for nearly 20 years. DiCaprio didn’t win his first Oscar until 2016 when he was honored for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in “The Revenant.”

DiCaprio, who received a standing ovation from the audience, used the end of his acceptance speech to raise awareness about climate change.

“It is happening right now,” he said. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

DiCaprio ended with, “Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

He had previously been nominated in 1994, 2005, 2007 and 2014.

2017: Wrong winner announced

ABC’s Dayna Bucchus has more on how it happened and reaction.

It was perhaps the biggest shock in Oscars history when the biggest award of the night, best picture, was wrongly presented by “Bonnie and Clyde” stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the 89th Academy Awards.

The presenters looked confused when they took the card out of the envelope after reading the nominees. Beatty even looked back in the envelope before passing the card to Dunaway as he stalled to read aloud what the card said.

Dunaway read “La La Land” and the cast and crew took to the stage. It wasn’t a huge shock since the film had already won six Oscars that night and was nominated for a record-tying 14 awards.

However, “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz stopped his colleagues’ acceptance speeches short after whispers and shocked looks traveled across the stage as they realized there was a mistake.

“I’m sorry, no. There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture,” Horowitz said. “This is not a joke. Come up here.”

The camera then cut to the now-iconic shot of Horowitz holding the correct card, which, in fact, listed “Moonlight” as the best picture winner.

It turns out that Beatty and Dunaway had been wrongly handed the envelope for best actress, which had “Emma Stone, ‘La La Land'” written on it. No wonder they looked so confused.

2017: Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon’s (faux) feud rages on

What better time for Jimmy Kimmel to add fuel to the fire of his good-hearted feud with Matt Damon than during his Oscars opening monologue?

Discussing the divisive nature of the recent presidential election during his first turn as Oscars host in 2017, Kimmel said he wanted to make good with somebody he’s had issues with: Damon.

When it comes to “healing and bringing people together,” Kimmel said, it “starts with us.”

Kimmel zinged Damon as “a selfish person” but joked that Damon did something very unselfish by passing on the chance to star in “Manchester by the Sea,” a role that eventually landed Casey Affleck a best leading actor win. Damon instead starred in “The Great Wall,” a film that Kimmel said “went on to lose $80 million.”

2018: Frances McDormand honors female nominees during acceptance speech

While accepting her best leading actress Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Frances McDormand set her Oscar down on the stage floor and asked every female nominee in the audience to stand: “The actors…the filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers.”

“Meryl, if you do it, everybody else will,” McDormand quipped. “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight, invite us into your office in a couple of days…and we’ll tell you all about them.”

She then encouraged those in the room to push for an inclusion rider, a contractual stipulation that ensures diversity in the hiring process.

By the end of the night, “inclusion rider” was among the most-searched terms on the Merriam-Webster website.

2019: Spike Lee wins his first competitive Oscar

Spike Lee accepts the award for best adapted screenplay for BlacKkKlansman at the Oscars on Feb. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Spike Lee accepts the award for best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” at the Oscars on Feb. 24, 2019, in Los Angeles.

Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

It was a long time coming when legendary director Spike Lee, with decades of experience and dozens of films under his belt, won his first competitive Oscar in 2019. Lee, along with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott, won for best adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman.”

“Before the world tonight, I give praise to the ancestors who built this country,” Lee said during his acceptance speech. “We all connect with our ancestors who will have love, wisdom regained. We’ll regain our humanity, it will be a powerful moment.”

He concluded by calling on the world to “make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing!”

Lee had previously been nominated in 1990 and 1998 and was given a non-competitive Academy Honorary Award in 2015.

2019: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga perform “Shallow”

In one of the most anticipated performances of the night, the ”A Star Is Born” co-stars took the stage for an intimate duet.

Viewers always look forward to the music at the Oscars, but few performances have generated as much buzz as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s duet of “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” at the 2019 ceremony.

Fans were excited but also hesitant about the performance ahead of time. They knew Lady Gaga could perform, but would actor and director Bradley Cooper be able to keep up?

The pair ended up delivering a touching, intimate performance of the movie’s hit song. So much so that many people online started speculating if they were in a relationship off-screen.

Despite the undeniable chemistry, the celebrities later went on the record and said they weren’t dating, and the performance was purposely choreographed to be representative of their characters’ love in “A Star is Born.”

“Shallow” went on to win best original song later that night.

2020: ‘Parasite’ makes best picture history

Parasite wins Best Picture, becoming the first film not in English to do so.

South Korean film “Parasite” took home the prize for best picture during the Oscars shortly after the film won three other awards, including directing for Bong Joon Ho, best international film and best original screenplay.

True to its name, “Parasite” simply got under the skin of Oscar voters, attaching itself to the American awards season and, ultimately, to history. The win was a watershed moment for the Academy Awards, which has long been content to relegate international films to their own category.

2021: Yuh-Jung Youn charms Oscar viewers

Yuh-Jung Youn has become the first Korean actor to win an Academy Award. She claimed the Oscar for best supporting actress Sunday night for her performance in “Minari” as a grandmother who moves from South Korea to live with her daughter’s farming family in Arkansas.

The night’s MVP was adorable best supporting actress winner Yuh-Jung Youn, the feisty grandma from “Minari” who made Oscar history as the first Korean actress to collect the Academy’s Golden Boy.

“Brad Pitt-finally,” Youn sassed flirtatiously to her presenter, who also produced “Minari.” She told her fellow nominees, including eight-time loser Glenn Close, “I’m luckier than you.” We were the lucky ones to have her and her joyous spirit on our shores.

Chloé Zhao, the Chinese-born director of “Nomadland,” also made history by becoming the first Asian woman — and woman of color — to win the directing Oscar.

She’s also only the second woman, after Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” to win best director in the Academy’s 93 years.

2022: ‘CODA’ wins best picture, but Will Smith slap drama steals show

In a bizarre moment at the Oscars, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face after he directed a G.I. Jane joke at Smith’s wife and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.

The Academy Awards named the deaf family drama “CODA,” best picture, handing Hollywood’s top award to a streaming service for the first time in a ceremony that saw the greatest drama when Will Smith strode onstage and slapped Chris Rock.

After Rock, as a presenter, joked to Jada Pinkett Smith that he was looking forward to a sequel to “G.I. Jane,” Will Smith stood up from his seat near the stage, strode up to Rock and smacked him. After sitting back down, Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.” When Rock, who joked about Jada Pinkett Smith while hosting the Oscars in 2016, protested that it was just a “GI Jane” joke, Smith repeated the same line.

The moment shocked the Dolby Theatre audience and viewers at home. Smith later took the stage when he won best actor for Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard,” his first Oscar. His acceptance speech vacillated between defense and apology.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said in his first remarks. Smith then shared what Denzel Washington told him: “At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.”

2023: ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ is everything everywhere all over the Oscars

From history-making Oscar wins to Jimmy Kimmel addressing last year’s infamous slap, here’s what you might have missed from the biggest night in Hollywood.

“Everything Everywhere All At Once” lived up to its title, with the film taking home gold in seven out of 11 nominated categories, including best picture and best director, along with three acting nods.

The eccentric tale about a Chinese immigrant family and alternate realities, from directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, is the first-ever science fiction film to win the top prize.

“Everything Everywhere” star Michelle Yeoh made history as the first Asian woman to win best actress, while co-stars Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis also won in the supporting actor and actress categories, respectively. Only two other films in Oscar history — “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Network” — have won three acting Oscars.

“Thank you for all the little boys and girls who look like me tonight,” Yeoh said during her acceptance speech. “This is proof that dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re past your prime.”

Curtis paid homage to her Oscar-nominated parents, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, after her win. It comes more than 60 years after her mother was nominated for her supporting acting work in “Psycho.” Her father received a nod in 1959 in the best actor category for “The Defiant Ones.”

“My mother and my father were both nominated for Oscars in different categories,” Curtis said, beginning to cry as she accepted the award. “I just won an Oscar!”

Former child star Quan’s win was also met with a standing ovation, capping his own extraordinary comeback.

“They say stories like this only happen in the movies. I can’t believe it’s happening,” he said. “This is the American dream.”

March 10 is Oscar Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with “Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live.” At 4 p.m. ET 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with “On The Red Carpet at the Oscars,” hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on OnTheRedCarpet.com and on the On the Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of “Abbott Elementary.”

SEE ALSO: Oscars 2024: How to watch the 10 best picture nominees

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